Newswise — An Ohio integrated health system and a national social enterprise have announced a new alliance to mobilize tens of millions of dollars for underinvested communities—starting with a $45 million effort to scale up economic opportunity and improve health outcomes in Toledo and the surrounding region over the next decade.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and ProMedica will concentrate capital and on-the-ground technical support to address social determinants of health and improve overall quality of life. Notably, the partnership will leverage funds for a major initiative announced last year called the Ebeid Neighborhood Promise (ENP), which is revitalizing Toledo’s UpTown community, where more than half of residents live in poverty and 30 percent are unemployed.

New investments and grants will focus on helping families grow employment skills and boost incomes and education. The goal is to improve community safety, finance healthy homes and vibrant businesses, and ensure communities have quality greenspace and jobs. It is a model that can be replicated in communities across the country.

“Health care has traditionally invested heavily in high-tech clinical care and state-of-the-art facilities, yet we underinvest in programs to improve socioeconomic factors. This is despite scientific evidence of how these factors greatly influence a person’s health status,” said Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and CEO. “For several years now, ProMedica has been devoting more resources to address social needs. Now through this partnership with LISC, we will maximize the impact of our efforts, starting in UpTown, and demonstrate the power of partnering with other sectors to accomplish a shared goal.”

ProMedica has been screening and studying the impact of social needs on the health of its patients, finding that financial strain, employment, behavioral health, and access to healthy food are among the most critical indicators. As an anchor institution, it also serves as a catalyst for community collaboration and economic development, including ensuring that area neighborhoods thrive. 

“Your zip code should not determine your prospects in life,” said Maurice Jones, president and CEO of LISC, a national community development organization that has invested more than $19 billion to spur economic opportunity in struggling areas. “But, right now, your community is the single largest predictor of how well and how long you will live. We have to focus on social, economic and health challenges—all in the same place at the same time—if we want to give families the best chance possible to thrive.”

The partnership includes a $20 million pool of grants, half from each organization, that will be deployed over 10 years for community programs and services. It also includes a new $25 million loan fund that will finance development projects that would not otherwise move forward. Of the total lending pool, ProMedica is investing $10 million and LISC is investing $15 million.

Importantly, the partners will work with health researchers to develop a new framework for evaluating how these kinds of community investments impact health--integrating data on financial, educational and clinical outcomes to identify what works.

“We are taking a data-driven approach that will demonstrate exactly how we’re making a difference,” said Kate Sommerfeld, ProMedica president of social determinants of health. “Our end goal is to develop a national model and best practices that we can replicate across ProMedica’s region and share with other health systems.”

The investment effort builds on the partners’ long-time commitment to these issues.

ProMedica, which operates in 28 counties in Ohio and Michigan, has emerged as a national leader on social determinants, demonstrating how health institutions can leverage their expertise and resources to advance key goals.

For 40 years, LISC has been investing in thousands of urban and rural communities across the country, including $150 million in Toledo since 1989. In late 2017, LISC announced it would deploy an anticipated $10 billion in national investments over the next decade in ways that are specifically designed to upend health disparities, as well as raise overall standards of living. The partnership with ProMedica is the first national collaboration designed to support LISC’s expanded health focus.

“Health care institutions can wield remarkable influence over social determinants, not just by the care they provide but by the data they have on place-based health challenges,” Jones said. “When we connect their talent and their resources to the expertise of community developers, we have an opportunity to drive changes that help people live better—literally adding years to their life. That’s incredibly powerful.”

To move forward, LISC and ProMedica will begin working with community partners and stakeholders in UpTown this month to engage residents. An operations team based at UpTown’s ProMedica Ebeid Institute will focus on expanding job-training opportunities for residents and onboarding additional community health workers, financial coaches and jobs coaches who will provide free services to the community.

For more information about the ProMedica and LISC partnership, visit

ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization serving northwest Ohio and southern Michigan. The 13-hospital system has more than 17,900 employees, 2,700 physicians and advanced practice providers with privileges, and more than 920 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Additionally, it offers a health plan, Paramount, which serves 344,000 members including more than 243,000 members in the statewide Medicaid plan. Driven by its Mission to improve your health and well-being, ProMedica offers a full range of diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in areas such as emergency medicine and trauma, behavioral health, heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, and women’s and children’s services. The health system has been nationally recognized for its advocacy programs and efforts to raise awareness about hunger as a health issue. For more information about ProMedica, please visit

 About LISC: With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1980, LISC has invested $19.3 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. LISC investments have leveraged more than $60 billion across the country for initiatives related to better housing, businesses, safety, health and jobs. For more, visit